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Thread: How to sleep for BF working mom

  1. #11
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: How to sleep for BF working mom

    I was a planner too, once... I've been getting rid of my baby gear and I was packing up our old Arm's Reach co-sleeper to take over to the local resale place. All of a sudden I remembered this big fight I had with my husband, about a month before our first child was born. My husband had been promising to get some of his junk out of the future baby's room, and I was insistent that it needed to be cleaned out and the crib set up NOW, not later. I browbeat him into doing it, but in the end, the baby didn't sleep in that room for close to a year!

    The Arm's Reach co-sleeper is definitely something to google, because it allows you to be right next to your child at night without having to share the same sleep surface.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: How to sleep for BF working mom

    I just wanted to point out something about the idea of nursing to sleep being an issue of "sleep association.'

    Infants are compelled to suckle as a survival requirement. When an infant suckles, a hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK) is released. Among other benefits, this gastrointestinal hormone helps baby drift into sleep.

    From the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (8th edition) "If she has fallen asleep nursing, it's partly because her level of cholecystokinin (CCK) has risen. In a newborn, a high level of this hormone makes a baby sleepy and tells her she's full; a low level can wake here and tell her she's hungry. After maybe 20 minutes of sucking (not necessarily eating) your baby's CCK has risen enough to put her to sleep and give her a rest from all her hard work. About 20 minutes after she's stopped sucking, her CCK level has fallen again. Your baby may wake...giving her a chance to top off her tank with renewed energy. Another sucking bout, another CCK rise, and she's likely to zonk out completely."

    This is not a 'sleep association" that can be controlled. It is a biological fact, and something that presumably has a biological purpose. So actively trying to not nurse ones baby to sleep, at least in the early months, is like trying to fool mother nature. And you know what that means... (cue thunder.)

    I do not know to what exact age the effect of CCK is there, or if it lessens gradually over time, or what. I am not sure how thoroughly that part of it has been studied. Obviously it is not something that is forever, as older children and adults do not, as a rule, need or even want to suckle to sleep, and they do not need or want to regardless of how long they were nursed to sleep as babies and young children. Also of course even babies who do nurse to sleep will usually fall sleep in other circumstances. It is common for a baby of any age to fall asleep in many circumstances as long as they feel secure and safe. Nursing to sleep is just one of the ways to help a baby or young child get to sleep, by nature's brilliant design.

    I just wanted to explain why it is not only normal, but how biology compels an infant to suckle to sleep. And that is all children. If a baby is not breastfed, baby will suckle to sleep with a bottle or a pacifier. (although suckling to sleep at the breast releases more of this hormone than bottles-maybe because bottles are usually eaten so quickly?) This is also why pacifier use or overuse in the first month or two is so potentially problematic- baby suckles to sleep with the pacifier and may not nurse enough to gain well.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: How to sleep for BF working mom

    I was in a similar situation as yourself. I didn't co-sleep my baby (he is 15 mos now) because I can't sleep normally with someone in my bed. And when I tried it at first, I kept having nightmares of rolling over him, dropping him, him falling off the bed etc and it drove me insane. What I did was, I put him to sleep in a crib in my room, touching my bed. I was easily able to reach in to get him during the night without going out of bed (big plus!). When he was young (until 12 weeks or so) he actually slept 6 hour chunks so I'd put him to sleep when I went to bed (11ish) and then I knew I'd get at least 5-6 hours of straight sleep. That didn't last very long though. About 6 mos or so we made some sort of loose bedtime schedule at around 9ish. At that point he woke up every 3 hrs or so at night.

    Re nursing to sleep: my baby always fell asleep while nursing at bedtime so there was no way I was going to wake him up to put him to sleep, that would be ridiculous. However, after a certain time, maybe 6-7 months, he'd be AWAKE after nursing and I was like oh no how will he go to sleep? But I basically patted him and that did not work too well. I was constantly in the room trying to get him to sleep. Then I moved him out uof my room into his own room. That helped tons but I still had to GET him to sleep. THat's when we did controlled crying sleep training - really not as bad as it sounds. He cried for a few nights for a few minutes and that was it. I also reintroduced the paci at 6 mos (he didn't really use it much until he was able to put it back into his mouth finally). THat helped him get to sleep and to fall back asleep if he woke at night. From then till about 10 mos maybe I nursed him 2 times at night and dreamfed before I went to bed. After 12 mos we brought it down to 1 feeding at night and 1 dreamfeed. At 11 mos I stopped the dreamfeed and nurse 1 time at night. That's how we're at now.

    Don't feel bad about not co-sleeping. They might throw me out of here for saying this but a lot of people on this site co-sleep and many have certain issues that are very strongly correlated with cosleeping. So if you can avoid them, great It doesn't work for everyone.
    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  4. #14
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    Default Re: How to sleep for BF working mom

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*ruchiccio View Post
    Don't feel bad about not co-sleeping. They might throw me out of here for saying this but a lot of people on this site co-sleep and many have certain issues that are very strongly correlated with cosleeping. So if you can avoid them, great It doesn't work for everyone.
    I'm not sure what issues you're implying the moms on this site have, but whatever it is that you are referring to, it's important to remember that correlation does not imply causality. So I would argue that it's inappropriate for any of the posters here to assume cosleeping is the CAUSE of whatever those issues are with their parenting or nursing. Cosleeping may just be the reaction to whatever the "issue" is. The definition of correlation is simply a relationship.

    I'm a full time working mom, and I had no problems getting enough sleep to function at work once I returned to work. I had a lot of thoughts about the "right" way to do things before I actually had my daughter; needless to say, actually having a living, breathing baby with the temperament and personality she was innately wired with resulted in a nearly 100% shift in most of my erroneous beliefs and misguided pre-planning. And yes, for me, what that wound up looking like was cosleeping and lots of nighttime nursing during infancy and early toddlerhood. (My daughter and I don't have any health or psychological issues that I can think of at this point in time.) It might look like something else entirely for a different mother/baby dyad--what works is going to be different from individual to individual. There is no one right way. I do think the most helpful advice in this case is simply to wait until the baby is born. You both will figure it out, whatever it is.

    I do, however, think that if you plan to breastfeed, it is a great idea to learn about and understand the mechanics of milk-making, and learn about which sleep training practices are associated with potential problems with milk supply, etc. Just so you can make an informed decision about how to proceed when that time comes.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  5. #15
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    Default Re: How to sleep for BF working mom

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sonogirl View Post
    I'm not sure what issues you're implying the moms on this site have, but whatever it is that you are referring to, it's important to remember that correlation does not imply causality. So I would argue that it's inappropriate for any of the posters here to assume cosleeping is the CAUSE of whatever those issues are with their parenting or nursing. Cosleeping may just be the reaction to whatever the "issue" is. The definition of correlation is simply a relationship.

    I'm a full time working mom, and I had no problems getting enough sleep to function at work once I returned to work. I had a lot of thoughts about the "right" way to do things before I actually had my daughter; needless to say, actually having a living, breathing baby with the temperament and personality she was innately wired with resulted in a nearly 100% shift in most of my erroneous beliefs and misguided pre-planning. And yes, for me, what that wound up looking like was cosleeping and lots of nighttime nursing during infancy and early toddlerhood. (My daughter and I don't have any health or psychological issues that I can think of at this point in time.) It might look like something else entirely for a different mother/baby dyad--what works is going to be different from individual to individual. There is no one right way. I do think the most helpful advice in this case is simply to wait until the baby is born. You both will figure it out, whatever it is.

    I do, however, think that if you plan to breastfeed, it is a great idea to learn about and understand the mechanics of milk-making, and learn about which sleep training practices are associated with potential problems with milk supply, etc. Just so you can make an informed decision about how to proceed when that time comes.
    Neither did I mention anything about causality. I just pointed out there are certain difficulties associated with co-sleeping. I never said one caused the other.
    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  6. #16
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    Default Re: How to sleep for BF working mom

    Don't feel bad about not co-sleeping.
    If co-sleeping doesn't work for you or just isn't something you want to do, that's fine. It's just a tool in your box, one which may work for you or may not. It's not wrong either way.

    They might throw me out of here for saying this but a lot of people on this site co-sleep and many have certain issues that are very strongly correlated with cosleeping. So if you can avoid them, great It doesn't work for everyone.
    No-one gets thrown off for opinions!

    In my opinion, the "issues that are very strongly correlated with cosleeping" should be called "issues that people assert are strongly correlated with co-sleeping, though there is no basis in research to suggest that this is true". IMO, babies sleep like babies because they are babies, not because of where they sleep or how they are fed or the phase of the moon or whatever. There are plenty of co-sleeping babies who sleep all night long and plenty of crib-sleeping babies who are up very frequently. IMO, we parents- and especially we moms- give ourselves too much credit for the things our kids do. I think sleep has a lot more to do with a baby's innate personality and its DNA than with anything else.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: How to sleep for BF working mom

    Thanks for posting your opinions I too choose not to co-sleep with my son and he is 3 months he sleeps 5-6 straight hours each night. IMO it had nothing to do with me at all a nice nursing clean diaper and a wipe down each night and 17 nights straight I have had success and sleep lol

  8. #18
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    Nov 2011
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    Default Re: How to sleep for BF working mom

    No mom should feel bad about whether baby sleeps in the family bed or in a crib. Different things work for different families, and even for different babies within the same family.

    I personally have co-slept with and exclusively breastfed both of my children (4yr son and 3mo daughter). My son continued to wake up every 3 hours in the night until at least one year. I can't remember exactly how long, I'm too sleep deprived from waking up this often. Although I wore co-sleeping as a badge of honor for these past few years, I secretly envied my friends who were sleeping for 8+ hours cuddled in bed with their husbands and had visions of them waking up looking like radiant, refreshed goddesses in the morning.

    Then I had my daughter, who totally debunked this theory. I did absolutely nothing different with her, yet she has slept for 7 hours straight since she was 5 weeks old. She doesn't comfort nurse, although lord knows I repeatedly and quite unsuccessfully try to use nursing to pacify her since this would make my life easier.

    So while I feel that any sleeping arrangement is legitimate, do not think that co-sleeping creates bad sleeping patterns or a baby who can't be pacified in any other way. As mommal said, we give ourselves to much credit for the habits of our babies.
    Last edited by @llli*greatestjoy; January 28th, 2015 at 12:37 AM.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: How to sleep for BF working mom

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*greatestjoy View Post
    No mom should feel bad about whether baby sleeps in the family bed or in a crib. Different things work for different families, and even for different babies within the same family.

    I personally have co-slept with and exclusively breastfed both of my children (4yr son and 3mo daughter). My son continued to wake up every 3 hours in the night until at least one year. I can't remember exactly how long, I'm too sleep deprived from waking up this often. Although I wore co-sleeping as a badge of honor for these past few years, I secretly envied my friends who were sleeping for 8+ hours cuddled in bed with their husbands and had visions of them waking up looking like radiant, refreshed goddesses in the morning.

    Then I had my daughter, who totally debunked this theory. I did absolutely nothing different with her, yet she has slept for 7 hours straight since she was 5 weeks old. She doesn't hates to comfort nurse, although lord knows I repeatedly and quite unsuccessfully try to use nursing to pacify her since this would make my life easier.

    So while I feel that any sleeping arrangement is legitimate, do not think that co-sleeping creates bad sleeping patterns or a baby who can't be pacified in any other way. As mommal said, we give ourselves to much credit for the habits of our babies.
    Are you living in my house? Because your two kids' sleep patterns sound just like mine! DS didn't sleep through the night until he was a year, waking every 2-4 hours, but DD has slept long stretches since birth. Just last night she went 9 hours and I woke up in a minor panic with full breasts.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: How to sleep for BF working mom

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sassypants View Post
    Are you living in my house? Because your two kids' sleep patterns sound just like mine! DS didn't sleep through the night until he was a year, waking every 2-4 hours, but DD has slept long stretches since birth. Just last night she went 9 hours and I woke up in a minor panic with full breasts.
    Although I realize this could exacerbate my slight oversupply, I sometimes have to pump in the morning because sleepy-pants DD is snoozing away next to me in bed.

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